China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) said foreign TV shows cannot be aired from 19:30 to 22:00.

According to the China Daily newspaper, China's aim is to improve the quality of imported TV programmes. Foreign TV series should not run for longer than 50 episodes and the total running time of these shows should not exceed 25 percent of the time allocated to TV series that day.

Earlier in November China ordered a ban on advertisements during TV dramas as part of its reform of cultural activities.

The move is seen as President Hu Jintao's earlier suggestion to the Communist Party, where he stated that it is high time for them to get a firmer grip on Chinese culture.

Chinese leaders are under pressure from a public that is upset over income inequality and corruption. These new regulations are considered as effort to wrest back Communist Party control over cultural industries.  

Party leaders have said China must create more cultural products such as books, films and art for sustaining and promotion of Chinese culture.